If only he understood the law, eh?

Anyone who has observed HMRC’s continuing management debacles since its shotgun birth more than a decade ago will know that one name dominates its lists of cock-ups. That is that of its former director Dave Hartnett.

Now the Supreme Court has ruled that his comments to the press in 2012 breached his basic duty of confidentiality to a taxpayer and as a result millions in compensation will be payable.

Hmm. This:

The tax office had justified arranging the briefing on the grounds that it wanted to foster good relations with the media and publicise its views about elaborate tax avoidance schemes. Toulson said these arguments “cannot possibly justify a senior or any other official of HMRC discussing the affairs of individual taxpayers with journalists”.

Section 18 of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 states officials “may not disclose information which is held by the Revenue and Customs in connection with a function of the Rvenue and Customs”.

However, tax campaigners such as the MP Margaret Hodge argue the confidentiality rules should be reformed. They say greater transparency is needed, for example on tax settlements with big companies and high net worth individuals.

One of those tax campaigners being Ritchie, no doubt?

6 thoughts on “If only he understood the law, eh?”

  1. Murphy uses this breach of confidentiality as a stick to beat HMRC and call for an “Office of Tax Responsibility which I will serve In and provide me with a pension and the chance to snoop into other people’s tax affairs”

    When whoever it was who leaked the Lux papers was charged with leaking confidential information, this was used as a stick to beat whoever it was Ritchie was beating that day as all the confidentiality as bad as it stopped him snooping about in other people’s tax affairs.

    Thus releasing confidential information is good and bad.

    And that is Ritchie’s position.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    So will Starbucks and Amazon be allowed to sue?

    I am torn. I think the law should be upheld but on the other than nothing pleases me more than Social Justice Warriors turning on each other.

    It is hard to believe how little it takes to corrupt the system. Drinks and a bit of flattery from a journalist?

  3. So David Cameron dragging Jimmy Carr’s name through the mud should be considered bad also. Sadly not illegal, though, as he did it in Parliament, didn’t he? Fucker.

  4. I’ve never heard the phrase “shotgun birth” before. Did he mean “shotgun wedding”?

    I have an image of a father in the maternity ward, holding a shotgun, determined that his daughter will give birth no matter what she thinks, by God!

  5. “Richard Murphy is a chartered accountant and an economics and accountancy graduate….. he was senior partner of a firm of chartered accountants for fifteen years until 2000. He has also, in parallel, been chairman, chief executive or finance director of nine small and medium sized companies.”

    “Senior Partner” very grand sounding. Less grand if (say) it was a piddly firm of only 3 partners and less than a dozen staff.

    “Nine companies!” Sounds grand! Companies House lists 8 appointments. 7 of which had ROs of Murphy’s own address and mostly filed dormant accounts.

    Do you think Murphy is gilding his tiny lily?

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    ““Nine companies!” Sounds grand! Companies House lists 8 appointments. 7 of which had ROs of Murphy’s own address and mostly filed dormant accounts.”

    Didn’t he declare recently when he was banging on about the tax gap that he saw no reason for companies to be dormant and at it must be avoidance?

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